Times Square, New York City, early on a Sunday morning, summer 1996. The day before, we’d taken our son Henry, age six, to see his first musical, Beauty & the Beast, on Broadway. A friend working on the show had reserved our seats, front and center, and had arranged a backstage tour after the final curtain. Henry had been allowed to walk around on the set. He’d touched the teacups and candlesticks and glimpsed the piano gleaming in the orchestra pit. He’d shaken hands with the Beast himself, who had been kind and friendly to this scrawny little kid who knew every song in the show by heart. And now, the next morning, all Henry wanted was to go back and do it all over again.
My husband snapped the photo because it was so not like our shy, mild-mannered son to be demanding. And it was so not like me to ever speak sternly to him. And yet, there we were, facing off in the first (and pretty much the only) argument we’ve ever had. [continue…]